The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex has a population of more than 7 million. And because we serve a large portion of the metroplex, it only stands to reason we receive many, many calls and emails everyday. And many of those turn into customers.
After almost 18 years in business and countless customers, not to mention the experience we had coming from other companies, we’ve got our scheduling and processes almost down to a science.
However, it’s understandable why something that is so second nature to us might not seem to make as much sense to someone calling just wanting to know if something is wrong with their underslab plumbing and, if so, to get it fixed right away.
Because I believe in being as transparent and open and honest as possible, I want to take a little time today and explain why we schedule tests and repairs the way we do.
How It Begins
So let’s say someone calls and says they think they might have a leak. We talk with the homeowner to get a better understanding of the situation so we can then determine what test we need to schedule.
It’s usually around the point when we’re setting up a time to come out and test the system that the homeowner asks if a repair does need to be done, can we do it the same day we do the test.
The answer to that question is no. And this is where the confusion comes in. It might seem at first glance a logical thing — find the problem, fix the problem all in one visit.
However, that’s not the best way for us to do business. It’s inefficient for us and is a disservice to our customers as well.
The Initial Testing
We know, for the most part, an initial test is going to take 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
Also on average, out of 100 tests about one is a fresh water leak — usually above ground like a leaky faucet — about 40 are sewer leaks and the rest are not plumbing issues and won’t need any repairs. (There are always exceptions but generally this is how it usually goes.)
Because we know how long the tests take, we know how many tests we can schedule in a day. What we don’t know at this point is what, if any, repairs are needed and how long it will take to make those repairs.
So say we came out, performed a test, found a leak, and determined it’s a three day job. We would have to cancel all of our other appointments for the next three days leaving those customers hanging out to dry.
But let’s flip that scenario. Instead, we go ahead and schedule three days for the initial testing and any potential repairs. We have to make sure the schedule is clear for those three days, meaning no other customers can get any testing or repairs done.
Then we come out to find there is nothing wrong and no repairs are needed (which, remember, is the case about 60 out of a 100 times). We now have three days with nothing on the schedule.
So we are left with either zero work for the next three days, or our office staff then goes into a mad scramble to schedule appointments with all the people who we had to turn away because of this three-day appointment.
As you can see this is not good for us or our customers.
The Leak Location Test and Repairs
OK! So then what about when we know there is a leak, fresh water or sewer. Why can’t we do the repairs the same day as the leak location test?
It’s pretty much the same reason as why we can’t schedule repairs for the same time as the initial testing. We know how long the leak location tests take but that’s about all we know at this point.
You have at least one leak. We know this because of the initial testing. But is it just one or is it 10? And even if it is just one, where is it? Is it in the middle of the house where we would have to tunnel or punch a hole in the foundation? Or is it near the perimeter of the house?
Or maybe the entire sewer system is cast iron and falling apart and a replacement is what’s needed instead of a leak repair.
Added to that. Because we don’t know what kind or how many repairs will be needed, we don’t know what we need to bring in terms of materials and tools. It isn’t realistic for us to take everything we might need for every possible repair scenario.
Also the number of people needed for each part of the process is different. The initial testing is done by one person. A leak location test is a two person job. Repairs are at least two people, possibly more. So we would have to send at least two people every time which would be too many for the initial test and not enough for a repair job.
A $25,000 Decision?
But let’s take our scheduling, manpower, and what materials we’d need out of the equation for a second and talk about you, the homeowner, needing to make a split second decision about a repair.
Depending on how many leaks, where the leaks are located and the work we have to do to get to the leak or leaks, it could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000. In fact, just recently, we had an $80,000 job.
Who wants to make a $10,000, $25,000, $80,000 decision on the spot? We certainly don’t want to put our customers in that position.
Efficiency and Lower Prices
We focus a lot on doing what’s best for our customers. And we’ve found that the way we schedule tests and repairs is what works out best for everyone.
Some potential customers worry that by not doing everything the same day, it will end up costing them more. But the opposite is true.
It’s more efficient for us, and it keeps our costs lower which in turn keeps our prices lower. And because we’re able to do the maximum number of jobs, we can then help as many people as possible.
I hope this clears things up a bit. But if you still have any questions about this, we’re always happy to answer them. Give us a call at 972-494-1750 or email at email@example.com.